The need to free up space on the iPhone is an issue that many of us have faced. Your iPhone comes with limited storage, but your use has no limits: Over the years, you can download countless apps and updates, accumulate a large number of photos and videos, and save endless content from messages and the web. Like many Android phones, you can’t extend it either. Fortunately, there are several ways you can clean up your iPhone storage without compromising the experience.
Apple collects a lot of storage tricks that can help you get back some lost space on your iPhone. On iOS, you can choose to offload large apps while keeping essential data. You can also combine duplicate images in your library to make more space for new content. Here’s how to get started.
Unload apps you no longer use
Most of us avoid running any apps from our phones thinking that we might need them someday in the future. However, at the same time, apps take up a lot of storage space. To get around this conundrum, your iPhone offers a better option: offload apps.
You can offload apps on your iPhone without affecting their documents and data. It’s kind of a softer deletion, that way, when you reinstall the app, it will instantly restore the same state you left it in at the time of uninstalling and you can start using it without going through the setup process.
1. To offload an app, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage Find and select the app you want to get rid of. You will see the size of the app and how much extra data it has saved on your phone storage. When you offload an app, your iPhone only frees up the amount of app size.
2. Press “Unload app” moving forward.
Alternatively, you can configure your iPhone to offload apps you haven’t opened in a while from iPhone Storage > Offload Unused Apps.
Delete unused apps
The easiest way to free up storage space is to completely delete the app. It is possible that you have installed a number of apps or games that you just stopped using and this is a valuable iPhone space that you can take back. You can check it yourself from Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Below each app, you’ll see the “last used” date and to the right how much storage that app is using.
The list is sorted by how much storage the apps are using, so scroll briefly through a, you can probably free up at least a few gigabytes of apps you haven’t used in a year or more. When you find an app that you want to delete, just tap on it and select “Delete app” on the next screen.
Find and delete duplicate photos
If you’re using iOS 16 or later, the default Photos app on your iPhone can automatically search for duplicate shots and let you combine them. It is especially useful for quickly discarding photos you may have taken in quick succession or occasional lock screen screenshots.
1. Go to photo app and headed to “Albums” tab.
2. Swipe down to the bottom of this screen and you’ll find “Iterations” under “Services.” This folder will not be available if your iPhone does not detect the duplicate photos.
3. Inside “Iterations” folder, you can review the matching files and click the “Merge” button to combine their information and clear the excess.
4. You can also use the Select option at the top to combine multiple sets of duplicate photos. Apple says it chooses the highest quality version and collects all relevant data across iterations, such as metadata and location information.
In case you want to recover an overlooked duplicate photo, you can do it from Recently Deleted folder.
Delete iMessage and other chat attachments
We receive a huge amount of attachments around the clock, such as GIFs and funny clips, in our chat apps. And all too often, we forget them as soon as we see them. Although a GIF or a short video doesn’t take up much storage space on its own, it can take up hundreds or thousands of precious megabytes over time.
1. Review your iMessage attachments from Settings > General > iPhone Storage > Messages.
2. Apple categorizes your iMessage data by its file types and your most important conversations. Click any of these categories and select “release” from the upper right corner.
3. Select the attachments you want to remove. Tap the trash can icon to confirm.
In iMessage, you can also automatically receive your messages with nukes every year or month starting at Settings > Messages > Keep messages. For other chat apps, you will have to visit the individual settings within the app. On WhatsApp, for example, you can browse attachment data from WhatsApp > Settings > Storage and Data > Manage Storage.
Scan offline movies and videos from streaming apps
You don’t need the offline movies or TV shows you have downloaded on streaming apps once you watch them. And unless you choose low-quality downloads manually, each of these videos takes up at least half a gigabyte of storage space on your iPhone. Fortunately, Apple allows you to remove and delete clips from all of your streaming apps in one place.
1. Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage
2. Press “view all” Next to “Recommendations” Section title. Head over to Review Downloaded Videos. Here you will find all downloaded videos – separated by their original applications.
3. Touch “release” At the top, tap the red minus icon next to the file you want to drop, then select “delete.”
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